Well, every day I DO do things other than reading blogs, often those things are inspired by the blogs I read, in fact. Things like making christmas gifts for everyone that we are gifting, things like reorganizing the kitchen to be way more functional, setting up a toddler friendly home, rearranging the mantle, putting stuff into baskets (lots of baskets), creating a more suitable "drop zone" in our front doorway (since our entryway is actually our living room), and on and on.
For the past few days most of the blogs I follow have been posting goals and ideas for the new year as well as linking back to their favorites of 2010. LOVED THIS! Actually, the Nester is inviting everyone to link up on Thursday with their goals for 2011, and she shared her goals today over at The Nesting Place. I'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas for 2011, too!
Goals I've had in mind for the coming year include: (I think I'll try to "schedule" some of these goals by Thursday so they will be more likely to happen)
- SIMPLIFY. I tend to collect stuff. Lots of stuff. Let's call the stuff what it is: clutter.
- Get the 3rd bedroom in order. Anyone want to commit to come stay in our guest room? Nothing puts the fire to my heels like people coming over, and with a very close-able door on that bedroom I've had little motivation. Actually, just yesterday Ryan and I discussed turning that room into a playroom so the boys will have an adequate play-space once they start sharing a room, since our house isn't really big enough for 2 beds in a room along with 2 kids worth of toys in the same room!
- Visit more parks and make better use of the park that is right outside our own backdoor. We had a splendid afternoon in our backyard yesterday, and Ryan and I agree that we should spend more time out there.
- Pressure wash and paint the exterior of our house. I've been warned that this is not DIY territory, but I'm really considering ignoring that warning. If we get into it and decide that warning was absolutely true, we can always jump ship, call in the experts and suffer no real loss except the time and shouting caused by the attempt.
- Landscaping? When our foundation was repaired over a year ago we were happy to see the leggy, ungroomed boxwoods go. I am sure our neighbors will be elated by an update to the dirtscaping the foundation crew did in our front yard OVER A YEAR AGO! Ugliest yard on the block, anyone? I foresee some agapanthus, hydrangeas, milkweed, pintas, plumbago, gardenias, azaleas, marigolds... any other suggestions?
- Eat at home more often. We already do this, but I'd like to compile a list of our favorite recipes that is easy to glance at to plan a menu. I cannot remember where I saw the idea, but I LOVED the idea of writing favorite family recipes on the doors of kitchen cabinets... very cool.
- Repaint the interior of our house with more exciting colors... we liked the ones we picked when we moved in because they got our house clean and liveable, but now we're ready for some character.
- Make more gifts. I loved the homemade Christmas gifts we gave this year (hopefully everyone that got them liked them, too!). I'd like to spend more time working on gifts this year to avoid an advent rush like I had this year (which was still quite enjoyable, but left our dining room and living room a mess the week of Christmas).
- Plant a fruit and vegetable garden in the back yard. Get the dirt delivered, put the seeds in the ground, and enjoy the harvest!
- Be more budget-minded. Commit to using the envelope system. We have really appreciated Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover during some financial difficulty this year. We have not used our credit card since July. We want to get completely out of debt, increase our savings, and work on the goals I'm listing without touching another credit card as long as we live... DO YOU HEAR THAT CREDIT CARD COMPANIES? STOP MAILING US AND STOP CALLING US! KEEP YOUR PAWS OFF OF OUR HAPPINESS! Ok, end rant.
- Keep tabs on the politicians that represent us. Get their e-mail addresses at the top of our contact lists, and badger them regularly (monthly, weekly? we'll see how this goes). If it isn't in the constitution, don't do it. I should send that e-mail right now, actually. OK, the government makes it particularly tricky to send such an e-mail expeditiously... I've saved the link to the "contact forms" that I will fill out one by one as soon as this is posted. By the end of the day all of the representatives from Texas will have a copy of the Constitution in their inboxes.
- Continue to invest in healthier food for our family: growing our own produce, eating less meat, and choosing local foods as often as possible. Get back to the farmer's market.
- Learn how to "coupon"... I hear that is a verb now?
- Use less disposable diapers. We use cloth most of the time, but I'd like to see those packages of disposables sit unopened for longer periods of time. This will start with buying more of our natural detergent (which would have been here by now if I had just ordered it online when we ran out...)
- Sew at least one wearable item this year... that I would actually be willing to wear.
- Blog more often instead of typing blog-length comments on friends' facebook walls and stati. Be inspired by those friends and comment with a link back to the blog instead of hogging their walls!
- Get rid of clothes that don't look awesome on me. Wear skirts more.
- Post more pictures on the blog. I'll return to this one with pictures later.